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October 19, 2012

David Freese

Jon Jay


Q.  Both of you guys came up through the system here, I know you weren't drafted here, David, but you came through the system here.  Beyond the teaching on the field, what's kind of preached to you guys culturally or organizationally to allow the guys to be ready and be ready to step up?
JON JAY:  Well, I think the biggest thing is even the Minor Leagues, a lot of organizations talk about development and they don't care about winning.  But I think it was instilled in us from the beginning that it is about winning.  We were double switching and pinch‑hitting in the Minor Leagues, where a lot of organizations will let you stick out the whole situation.
I think they put that in us in the beginning, and realize what you can do to help a team win instead of just worrying about your numbers and stuff like that.
DAVID FREESE:  Yeah, I think Jay said it right where in the dog days of a season in the Minor Leagues when you're trying to move up or trying to get to the Big Leagues they teach us to fight through that and come to the park every day trying to win a ballgame.  When you focus on that, your fatigue kind of gets thrown out the window and you understand what's important, because winning, you learn to win.  I think you become a winner, especially in this League.  You get up here, it's so new, it's so different.  It's so much harder than Triple‑A, that you've got to learn the ropes.  And it starts with wanting to win.

Q.  For both of you guys, do you feel kind of spoiled, as it were, in your first two seasons to be going this deep in playoffs, when many other guys don't get a sniff of this at all?
DAVID FREESE:  Absolutely.  The front office puts talent on the field, puts good guys in the clubhouse and that's a good recipe.  You battle through injuries and you keep moving and you keep going forward.  And good things can happen.
Last year was great, but you want more.  You win a World Series and you show up the next year trying to do the same thing, especially with a new manager, as much as Mike means to us, we want this for him as much as for us.
JON JAY:  Yeah, definitely.  We know how fortunate we are, and we've talked about this before.  A lot of guys don't get to see the postseason in their careers.  And look at us now in our second postseason, and it's something we definitely don't take for granted.  We know how much it means to be in the playoffs.  We tasted this last year, and that's great, but we want more.

Q.  A lot has been talked about your defense this year.  Do you see yourself as having drastically improved in that area and is there anybody in particular that's really helped you defensively?
JON JAY:  I think it's been a steady thing where I've improved little by little, but I don't know.  I think everything has just kind of made sense to me this year as far as everything that I've gone through in the past, the past two years playing out there.
This year was really for the first year going into the season I was going to be centerfield, so I knew I had to go out and take control.  I wanted that role.  I wanted to go out and be the leader of the outfield.  And it's something I enjoy doing.

Q.  You had the full season with Mike as the manager, and I know that different managers use different ways to motivate their players.  Tony had a way.  Dusty Baker had a way.  I'm wondering if you guys might talk about what you've learned about his way of motivating guys, and specifically with Jon, him going to you and saying you're the starting centerfielder, maybe what that brought in you because the manager showed you such confidence?
JON JAY:  For me, that was great for me, just not knowing.  We had Carlos Beltran here, and he's done everything that you can do in centerfield.  And he was a great centerfielder.  For him to come up to me and say that to me, that was big to me.  The past two seasons for me I was battling to try to get in the lineup.  I knew that was my role.  I knew that was what it was going to take for me to be in the roster.
As far as motivation for Mike, he's always positive.  That's the No. 1 thing.  That's something that definitely rubs off on us.  He's never negative about anything.  When we went through our stretches where things weren't so hot, he was always positive and he kept believing in us and kept telling us how much talent we had on this team and how much we all cared about each other.  And I think that's been the big thing this year of just staying positive.
DAVID FREESE:  I was thinking about Mike Matheny and he's a man of very few words, compared to a lot of people.  But when he speaks, it's meaningful.  He trusts his players.  He's a guy that, he's very prepared, just like Tony.  He throws his team out there and puts them in situations that they can succeed in.  He's got our back, from day 1.  That's cool to see.  He's out here having a good time and he's just loving this, I know that.

Q.  Two years in a row now the Cardinals have gotten in as the wild card and then been a really hot productive team in the postseason.  What makes you so good in the postseason, anything on the field that makes you tough this time of year?
DAVID FREESE:  I think we're just focused.  You get the right group together, you've got a shot.  Both years I think we've come into the playoffs playing pretty good baseball, and I think that helps.  And then you go to that one‑game playoff and you get by that.  I think that really jolts you into the next division.  I know it's the first time it's been around.  So wait and see how it affects the coming years.  But to go to Atlanta and win that game, to be down early, I think that it kind of jump‑starts you a little bit.
We have the desire to win, as draining as this game is and as long as you play it over the course of a six‑, seven‑month season.  You show up and you want to win.  That's the beginning of it and that's what it takes.

Q.  You both talked about the sort of ethos in the Minor League system.  When you got to the Majors was there anything that struck you or any particular player, any particular habits that people had about the way people went about their business in that clubhouse or on the field?
JON JAY:  Definitely.  I think at first as a young guy when I got here, we've always been the type of guy to show up to the field early and go about our business the right way.  When you see guys do it here it's at a different level.  There's days where I didn't quite understand why guys did the things they did.  But now I get it.
And I see us doing those same things now as far as watching video or preparing yourself in the weight room.  Just little things that I didn't quite understand.  And now I see that's what it takes to win up here and that's why these guys have been so successful.  You see guys like Matt and Yadi.  They've had all the accolades they can think of and they're still doing things the right way.  As a younger player you start to get that.  I think we've all transformed into that where it's helped us be successful at this level.
DAVID FREESE:  I think this is an organization that the players care for one another.  They help each other out.  They learn from one another.  And then they grow with each other.  I think you look at the good and the bad that everybody goes through and you just learn from it because you know that as a core you're going to be around hopefully together for a while.  And you just go through the ups and downs together.
When I came up here, you look at a guy like Jose Oquendo or Big Mac (McGwire) or those guys.  They take your talents and they don't necessarily try and change you.  They understand that your talent got you to the Big Leagues.  But they just try and tweak you a little bit if there's something that needs to be adjusted.  They take what you got and you try to just build on that and I think that's a simple but productive way to go about it.

Q.  It just seems from the outside looking in there's a sense that whatever you need you'll get.  I was just wondering if that carries over into the players, and do you feel that in the dugout?
DAVID FREESE:  I feel with the guys we have in the clubhouse, whether they're coming up from Double or Triple‑A or bench guys from the beginning, if something goes awry, you've got to hope and you've got to understand that there is a possibility that we can pull it out.  I don't think we knock on the negative too much.  I think we kind of just stay straightforward and think positive, and just try and execute.
You put your heart into it and just focus and good things can happen.  We try and not worry about the results, as hard as that is.  We just try and do what we can and we'll deal with what comes.

Q.  Obviously you'd prefer not to be getting on a plane, but if you are, the knowledge of the guy you'll have starting for you in that game, and what he's meant and all he's been through, what does that do for you guys?
JON JAY:  Well, we're looking at today and today only.  But talking about Carp, I mean, just look at his season this year.  Everyone said he wasn't going to pitch again.  We saw in the clubhouse how he was determined to pitch.  He was determined for his teammates.  He could have easily said ‑‑ he's done a lot of in this game, and said, Hey, I'll be ready next year.
We saw him get to the field early.  I saw how hard he worked and how much he wanted to be out there for us.  As a younger player you see somebody like that do things like that and sets an example.  He's definitely a leader in this clubhouse.  He means so much to this team.  And see the way he's battled and come back and pitched and been vocal inside the clubhouse.  It's just something that we really respect.
DAVID FREESE:  I think with Carp it's kind of the same thing with Adam, they want that next chance to dominate.  And Carp's a gamer, everybody knows that, what he's done over the course of his career.  He understands that his time is limited in this game.  Besides the World Series last year, he wants to finish with more.  And getting that ball and getting out on that mound, he's up for it.  He can't wait.
Obviously he hopes it's in the World Series, not Game 6.  But with our staff we'll give the ball to any of those guys and have confidence with them.

Q.  Because of the fanatic fans here, you guys are overeager to clinch it here today.  How important is it to stay within yourself?
DAVID FREESE:  You know, that's a big key, especially going up against a guy like Zito who wants you to get yourself out.  He's having an approach with every hitter.  He's going to change speeds and try to get us out of the zone, see if we're anxious to get this over with.  But we've got to stay within ourselves and kind of just try and drive the baseball and have a team effort.  And we understand that we're in our park with our fans and our friends and family.  But regardless of where we're at, you want to finish it off as quickly as possible.
JON JAY:  I think that's something this team has done very well this year.  We're focused on one day at a time.  We go out there and we leave it on the field.  I think nothing has to change as far as our approach.  I think you've seen that all year from us.  We bring the effort every day.  And the preparation is there.  And we leave it all on the field.  I think we've been pretty consistent with that all year.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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